Libyan coastguards rescue 137 immigrants off west Tripoli shores

LAMPEDUSA, ITALY – JUNE 21: A boat loaded with illegal immigrant is seen on June 21, 2005 in Lampedusa, Italy.  (Photo by Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images)

Libya’s coastguard intercepted 137 migrants including 5 women and 3 children on Sunday, August 6, as they attempted to reach Europe, a migration official told Agence France-Presse.

Amine al-Boussefi, head of a government agency in Tripoli tackling clandestine migration, said “137 migrants were successfully rescued by the coastguard… then handed over to us.”

The migrants, from several African countries, were aboard an inflatable boat intercepted Sunday morning around 40 kilometers (23 miles) north of Sayyad, a seaside village west of Tripoli, navy spokesman General Ayoub Qassem said.

The migrants were taken to a navy base in the capital where the Libyan authorities gave them food, water, and medical treatment, an Agence France-Presse photographer said.

They were then transferred by bus to the eastern Tripoli suburb of Tajoura and handed over to the anti-migration agency.

The Agence France-Presse photographer saw dozens of migrants gathered in a courtyard there, sitting on the ground under the blazing sun as they waited to be put in detention centers.

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